What comes into your head when you hear the word ‘temp’? If you are thinking about an unskilled worker who comes in to shuffle paper from 9-5, you really are living in the past. Call them what you like: temps, contractors or freelancers —temporary employees play a valuable part in the modern retail and fashion worlds and contribute many much-needed skills.
From CEOs downward, there’s always some freelance talent that can fill any gap in staffing and the benefits are endless.
A flexible workforce
Temporary workers by their nature make a workforce more flexible and adaptable to market trends and/or staff absence. The ability to expand or contract the headcount and/or skillset as needed is one of the more obvious benefits of offering more roles as temporary contracts.
Similarly, especially with shorter-term projects, temporary or contract workers can provide short-term support for the team in terms of workload as well as skills.
Filling a skills gap
Sometimes the skills needed for a certain project don’t exist within the team. As opposed to hiring a permanent employee, with all the ‘red tape’ that comes with the induction process, a temporary employee can hit the ground running. For short-term or time sensitive projects this can be a quick, simple solution.
A fresh perspective
New talent usually brings new ideas, or a new perspective on existing ones. The temp may have experience in using systems that are more efficient than your current ones, or know an alternative solution to a problem you didn’t know you were having.
A skilled temporary worker is likely to have worked in the industry — even at a competitor of yours in the past, so it can be an opportunity for the business to learn from the temp as well as allowing them to gain more experience.
A good temp can go perm
Hiring temp-to-perm is a great chance to see if the temporary worker will work well with your current team. This is especially important if you have a very well defined office culture and you have to make sure that any new recruits will fit in with the culture and values of the company. It can also open your mind to candidates you wouldn’t have originally considered but, given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, they show their true potential. Think of it as an extended audition to join the team.
They can boost a stagnant or overworked team
Having an injection of fresh blood can be just the boost that a team needs when motivation or morale is low. As long as it is handled carefully and no-one in the team thinks that their own job is threatened, this can be a positive experience for everyone.
New ideas, enthusiasm and the can-do attitude that temporary workers bring with them can have a temporary boost for the rest of your team. By having more support the team is less stretched in its own capabilities and you tend to get better results from everyone.
You can refine the job description
If you have a new vacancy that covers several roles, you may want to get someone into the role for a short amount of time until you figure out what all the requirements are. It may be that the role includes skills and competencies above and beyond those required in the conventional job description for the role. This is a good chance to test out what the appointee will be doing day-to-day and you will have a better idea of the ideal candidate.
It’s easier than ever
More retailers than ever are looking to hire temps as they start to realise the skills that great temps have. With more people looking for flexible working, the calibre of temporary workers has increased hugely and it is easier than ever for employers to capitalise on this.
Fashion Personnel has a specialist division that sources the best flexible talent in the industry across all categories; both for retail stores and head office. Experienced in supplying temps for all roles at all levels from one day’s cover upwards. Whether it’s in buying, design, e-commerce or store management, they have experienced candidates available to start working immediately.
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